, MADRID, Feb 7 – Spanish King Juan Carlos’ son-in-law was facing Thursday having his assets frozen after he failed to make a bail payment in a corruption case that has rocked the monarchy.
Inaki Urdangarin and his former associate Diego Torres Perez were given until the end of Wednesday to jointly pay the 8.2 million euros (Sh970 million) by a court in Palma on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca.
The bail is being applied in a civil case and failure to pay it could lead to their property being seized but would not send them to prison.
The two men are suspected of siphoning off millions of euros paid by regional governments for staging sporting and tourism events to the Noos Institute, a charitable organisation based in Palma which Urdangarin chaired from 2004 to 2006.
They have both denied any wrongdoing and have not been charged with any crime.
They have appealed the bail amount which Urdangarin’s lawyer Pascual Vives has called “exaggerated”.
But the court in Palma which is carrying out the investigation said Thursday that since the bail was not paid by the deadline, it would demand that both men draw up a list of assets worth the amount of bail that would be frozen.
Urdangarin’s assets include a luxury home in the exclusive Pedralbes area of Barcelona he acquired with his wife in 2004 reportedly for around six million euros.
The freezing of Urdangarin’s assets over his failure to make bail will not be immediate, a court source said.
“It is not tomorrow that his private mansion will be seized. It is a slow process,” she told AFP.
Urdangarin, who acquired the title of Duke of Palma when he wed the king’s youngest daughter Cristina in 1997 during a lavish ceremony in Barcelona, has been called to appear at a court in Palma on February 23.
The former Olympic handball player was jeered in February last year when he appeared at the court in Palma where the Noos Institute is based to be questioned for the first time as part of the investigation.